The Dunes Album Review: La Musicque Nouveau

Shine up those shoes, because you’ll want to gaze at them a lot when you hear La Musique Nouveau by The Dunes.

The Australian four-piece (Stacie Reeves, Matt Reiner, Dan Fernie-Harper, and Adam Vanderwerf) bring a great, expansive, spaced-out sound to their new EP.

The opener, “Red Leaves,” would be ideal for drives through a southern Indiana forest in early October when all the leaves are turning a thousand colors and a warm wind starts dropping those leaves onto the highway.  Sticking with the color theme, we move to “Blue Lake,” which I imagine was written as the sun was coming up over a lake as still as a glass tabletop and the entire Australian horizon was right side up and upside down at the same time.  It’s wonderfully trippy and full of Reiner’s rippling guitar and Harper’s clockwork drumming.

“Post Office Rock” is probably my favorite cut, with its Mazzy Star feel in both Ms. Reeves’ vocals and the band’s entire sound on it.  Everything clicks.  Vanderwerf’s bass is a slithering snake on a hot rock, the drums are hypnotizing, the guitar bounces along like tumbleweed, and the vocals float by like the scent of wild sage.  If you played this at the post office during the Christmas season, no one there would be in a rush or rude.

Imagine Siouxsie singing lead for Joy Division.  When your brain begins to melt from thinking how awesome that would be, just listen to  “A Thousand Crimes” and you’ll be able to save at least some brain cells from hearing your dream come true.

The final track, “Interplay,” is lush and lovely.  Matt Reiner never ceases to get fresh shoegaze riffs out of his guitar on the whole record, and this track is no exception.  The song seems to be about a relationship that’s become an empty shell of its former self.  The blue lyrics are strangely balanced with gorgeous instrumentation.  It’s a nice end to the record as it leaves you wanting more from this band.  You want to hear what other trippy combinations they could make and what other soundscapes they can create.

You want to hear The Dunes.  You just don’t know it yet.

~ Nik Havert




Nik Havert is a writer, DJ at WSND 88.9FM University of Notre Dame, harmonica player, martial arts instructor, comic book publisher, crime fighter,music lover, cult movie enthusiast, and modern day Renaissance man. He hopes to shark cage dive sometime in the next few years and enjoys travel and good natural root beer. Visit his web site at

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